- Talc is a versatile soft, white mineral, used in making paint, plastics, paper, ceramics, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
- Mount Fitton, about 130 km northeast of Leigh Creek, has the largest and highest grade of all the South Australian talc deposits.
- The road through the talc mine gradually deteriorates to a track and comes out at the homestead of Mt Fitton which was a prosperous sheep property in the 1920s, now part of Mt Freeling Station http://www.mtfreeling.com.au/
- The Adnyamathanha shared their knowledge of the talc deposits near Mt Fitton with Europeans.
- Their stories tell how the talc was formed, and their regret at how sharing the information led to mining.
- Talc from this mine is pure and fine enough to use for cosmetics.
- Talc has been mined continuously near Mt Fitton since 1945.
- Joe Ford sought opinions from Gordon Greenwood and geologist Reg Sprigg about the value of the deposit. They were members of the first syndicate to open and work the mine.
- It has changed hands several times.
- In 2012 it is owned by Sibelco, one of the world’s largest industrial mineral companies.
- Previous owners include Unimin Australia, Normandy Industrial Minerals and Steetley Industries Ltd.
- Cornelius Alferink, better known as Talc Alf used to load Mt Fitton talc onto trucks for transport to Adelaide for milling.
- He selects special pieces, carves them into shapes and sells them from his outdoor gallery near Lyndhurst.
Resources for Talc
- DMITRE Minerals http://www.minerals.dmitre.sa.gov.au/geological_survey_of_sa/geology/commodities/talc
- Flinders Ranges Research: Talc Alf and his Art http://www.southaustralianhistory.com.au/talcalf.htm